North Coast Brewing Co.’s 2010 “Old Stock Ale” Barley Wine

      When is Wine not really Wine? When it is Beer! Barley Wine to be more specific. Despite the name of this style, Barley Wine does not taste like wine. Rather, the wine part comes from this brew’s higher alcohol content. This is typically a big beer that is not sessionable, and most certainly not the beer that you would use to introduce your friends to the world of craft beer with. In my opinion this is a beer style that is best enjoyed slowly on a cold night or during a nice smooth cigar, but that is just my opinion. For this post I chose to present a brew that I think is a perfect Barley Wine specimen for those looking to experiment with this style.
       North Coast’s 2010 “Old Stock Ale” Barley Wine pours a deep clear amber, with a one finger thick tan head. The aroma is dominated by alcohol, but balanced with the sweet smells of caramel, vanilla, candied dark fruit, honey and molasses. The taste was just as complex as the aroma. The hot 11.7% ABV asserts itself upfront, followed by vanilla, brown sugar, prunes, and bitter hops. The mouthfeel is medium and slick with light carbonation. The finish is incredibly long and sweet. This is a great Barley Wine, and if you have been wondering what this beer style is all about, start here! Here’s to Good Beers!
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